He's hardly Duke Nukem (thank all that is good and right in the history of existence), but Max Payne has been continuously tardy to his own party for quite some time. Originally slated for release in 2009, Max Payne 3's been delayed so many times that people began to wonder if the man who clearly took his name from this website had quietly bitten the big one. That, however, is most certainly not the case. No more slow-mo development shenanigans: Max Payne 3's coming out next March.
The story of Max Payne is a grim one indeed. No, no, not the actual character (although we're sure any man whose face is stuck in that kind of perma-grimace can't be all sunshine and butterflies) -- instead, we're talking about the ever-growing yarn trailing behind Max Payne 3's development cycle. Originally scheduled to launch late in 2009, the game's since endured delay after delay, and all the while gamers have scarcely seen hide nor hair of its development progress.
Most damning of all, however, is the fact that Take-Two's most recent release schedule – which even listed games scheduled for calendar year 2012 – didn't contain Max Payne 3 in any form. Developer Rockstar Games, however, quickly claimed that rumors of Max Payne's death have been greatly exaggerated.
"We're still working hard on Max, and we'll have more news in the coming months," a company rep told Kotaku.
Last time we saw Max Payne 3, it was set to discard the franchise's old noir trappings in favor of a thick coat of grit. Picking up 12 years after Max Payne 2 left off, the game touted a “more world-weary and cynical” version of Max working private security for a wealthy family in Brazil. More often than not, however, publicity blackouts like the one Max Payne 3's been under since shortly after it was announced are signs of a major overhaul, so who knows what kind of story it's aiming to tell at this point?
Here's hoping Rockstar sees fit to tell us sooner rather than later. We're all for gratuitous slow-mo, but this is getting a little ridiculous.
The Revolution was televised, and it was pretty all right, we guess. But now Sid Meier’s up to his old tricks again, and we couldn’t be happier. No more “Revolutions,” no more Facebook games. Just a good old-fashioned numbered installment in the Civ series that’s being built from the ground up as a PC exclusive.
“Sid Meier’s Civilization franchise has been recognized as one of the greatest PC game franchises of all time with millions of units sold worldwide,” said Christoph Hartmann, president of 2K. “Civilization V takes the franchise further by offering players a more immersive experience with deeper strategies; heightened tactical combat; vast, realistic landscapes to explore, battle over and claim as their own; and an in-game community hub where Civ fans can share content and compete against each other without leaving the game.”
Which is all great. But you know what’s even better? Hex grids, which apparently allow for “deeper strategy, more realistic gameplay and stunning organic landscapes for players to explore as they expand their empire.”
Hexagon tiles, incidentally, strike us as a bit of an odd feature to promote front-and-center when you’re announcing a new game. There’s no middle ground. Either you’re an average “everyday” gamer who only delves into turn-based strategy when a new Civ game comes out, in which case, you have no idea what Talk-Two’s taking about. Er, Take-Two’s talking about. Or you’re a hardcore strategy buff, in which case you’re sexually aroused right now.
But that’s neither here nor there. And sadly, neither is any more info on Civ V. We’ll keep you posted.
Like certain other “episodes” we’ve been impatiently anticipating for quite some time, GTA IV’s two after-dinner mints have taken nearly as long to arrive as the main course. But at least GTA IV has a good (ish) reason. You see, Microsoft struck a timed exclusivity deal with Rockstar… for the Xbox. PC, not so much.
So now, nearly one year after the first of the two episodes launched, GTA IV: Episodes from Liberty City has escaped from the Xbox’s supermax prison to wreak havoc on the PC (and PS3, in case you’re keeping count).
The two packs – known as “The Lost and the Damned” and “The Ballad of Gay Tony” – are launching on March 30, and will come bundled together in stores or separately as DLC.
So, who’s up for another 30 or so hours of car-stealing, murder, drug dealing, and whatever else you crazy kids are into these days?
The first BioShock is memorable for a number of reasons: beautiful, haunting environments, some of the nuttiest characters videogames have ever seen, “would you kindly?,” and – oh yeah – some seriously restrictive SecuROM DRM. Fortunately, there are other fish in the sea, and the prospects for one of them – BioShock 2, specifically – are looking up.
“There will be no SecuROM install limits for either the retail or digital editions of BioShock 2, and SecuROM will be used only to verify the game’s executable and check the date. Beyond that, we are only using standard Games for Windows Live non-SSA guidelines, which, per Microsoft, comes with 15 activations (after that, you can reset them with a call to Microsoft.),” community manager Elizabeth Tobey explained on the game’s official website.
Need a better idea of what you’re in for? Think Batman: Arkham Asylum, which keeps the caped crusader’s all-too-important tech from falling into the wrong hands with a very similar DRM setup.
“Feedback like this does not go unheard, and while this might not be the ideal protection for everyone, we will continue to listen and work with you in the future when formulating our DRM plans,” Tobey added.
Baby steps, sure, but they're much appreciated nonetheless.
After suffering one delay earlier this year, Max Payne 3 has once again swerved into a ditch on the road to completion. Whereas before, the game was set to launch during the first half of 2010, now Take-Two’s decided to take its sweet time with the game, pushing it into the period between August 1 and October 31, 2010.
Why? No idea. Take-Two casually announced the slip during an investor’s call, then quickly buried it under other unrelated info. Our guess? Maybe Max needs more time to clean his wife-beater. No, seriously. Have you seen that thing? It ain’t pretty. And when you’ve got a guy who’s both a blogger and a college student criticizing your cleanliness, it’s probably time to rethink your hygienic practices.
Just in case our incredibly astute guess is off-base, though, we'll shoot an email over to Take-Two.
We’ve known for a while now that 2010 will be the year of our return to Rapture, but beyond that, things have been a bit hazy. No more, though. Today, Take-Two finally spotted the light at the end of the tunnel.
February 9, 2010. That’s the day you’ll be getting your Bathysphere in gear and descending into the madness of Rapture once again, according to a press release we received from Take-Two. Sure, you’ll only find a scrap of paper that says “IOU BioShock 2” under the Christmas tree this year, but at least now we know the wait won't be too painful.
If that’s still too much for you, though, fret not! There’s plenty of other <size descriptor> <family member> related entertainment available to hold you over until Big Daddy, Big Sister, and Little Sister make their February debut. For instance, you could run over to your local Blockbuster and pick up Big Momma’s House 2. We’ve heard great things about that porcine piece of celluloid. Or, we suppose, you could just play BioShock again, but what fun would that be?
Man, who could forget the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas “Hot Coffee” kerfuffle that had Rockstar in hot water back in 2005? Not us, and certainly not Rockstar, considering that the fiasco’s still nipping at the publisher’s pocketbook here in the Future Neo-Year of 2009.
Fortunately, Rockstar announced today, the Grand Theft Auto-creator’s legal star count may finally be back down to zero. Busted, yes, but not wasted, thankfully. Concluding a lawsuit brought on by investors back in 2006, the publisher reached a $20,115,000 settlement with its disgruntled financial followers.
“We are pleased to have reached this settlement, which represents another important step forward for the Company," said Strauss Zelnick, Chairman of Take-Two.
The original suit targeted alleged hidden stock option granting, as well as the Hot Coffee hoopla. And while it may not have completely hit the mark, veering off into a cool $20 million isn’t too bad, we think.
“The decision to shift a release date is never an easy one, especially with a product as highly anticipated as BioShock 2. We felt that it was essential to invest the additional time to ensure that this title will deliver what its fans expect and deserve,” said Take-Two CEO Ben Feder.
“As a result, we will now be launching sequels to several of our strongest franchises - including BioShock 2, Mafia II, Max Payne 3 and Red Dead Redemption - during the next fiscal year.”
As a result of that result, Take-Two’s 2009 is looking pretty sparse. We’re all for heart-pounding finishes, but Take-Two’s all-or-nothing 2010 plan is just wild. This is like when action heroes fall from great distances, only to fire off their grappling hooks at the last feasible second; sure, you know the hero’s not going to make any sort of craterous impact, but damn, Take-Two, 2010 had better be the best year ever. After all, Spider Man can’t swing by and catch everyone.
And if 2010 doesn't go your way, we imagine a number of your investors will be plumeting from buildings hoping not for someone to catch them, but for death's sweet, concrete flavored embrace.
"While 3DR is a much smaller studio now, we will continue to operate as a company and continue to license and co-create games based upon the Duke Nukem franchise," the developer said in a press release.
The way 3D Realms tells it, though, Duke Nukem Forever – finished or not – won’t be able to release until Take-Two and 3D Realms kiss and make up. Previous agreements between the two companies have put Duke in his current predicament, but according to 3D Realms, it’s not like Take-Two hasn’t broken an agreement before.
"Take-Two never paid 3DR advances or any signing bonus or any other funds related to DNF, up until July 2008, at which time they paid $2.5m in connection with another agreement for an unannounced game," added the company. "This is the sum total Take-Two has paid 3DR in connection with DNF."
That lack of funding effectively killed the game’s development cycle last week. Take-Two allegedly attempted to right the sinking ship by offering to acquire the Duke Nukem franchise and 3D Realms, but due to such stipulations as “no upfront money, no guarantee minimum payment, and no guarantee to complete the DNF game,” 3D Realms refused.
Now the two companies are gearing up for a long, painful court session, which at this point, just seems like Fate giving us a big middle finger for ever hoping Duke might see the light of day. Is some news better than 12 years of no news? In this case, we're not so sure.